Samurai in the Land of the Gaucho
Transpacific Modernity and Nikkei Literature in Argentina
Compared to the experience of political persecution against Japanese immigrants in Brazil and Peru, the Japanese in Argentina generally lived under a more agreeable sociopolitical climate. In order to understand the "positive" perception of Japan in Argentine history and literature, Samurai in the Land of the Gaucho turns to the current debate on race in Argentina, particularly as it relates to the discourse of whiteness. One of the central arguments is that Argentina's century-old interest in Japan represents a disguised method of (re)claiming its white, Western identity.
Through close readings of diverse genres (travel writing, essay, novel, short story, and film) Samurai in the Land of the Gaucho yields a multi-layered analysis in order to underline the role Japan has played in both defining and defying Argentine modernity from the twentieth century to the present.
Foreword by Ignacio López-Calvo
Part I: Transpacific Modernity: An Asia-Latin America Perspective
1. Argentine Chronicles on Japan: Hygiene, Aesthetics, and Spirituality in Eduardo Wilde and Jorge Max Rohde
2. Empire Across the Sea: Narratives of Japanese Imperialism in the Writings of Manuel Domecq García and Yoshio Shinya
Part II: Nikkei Literature as Counternarrative
3. Hybrid Nikkei Identity in Héctor Dai Sugimura’s Buscadores en mis últimas vidas and Maximiliano Matayoshi’s Gaijin
4. Gendering Orientalism and Female Agency in Anna Kazumi Stahl’s Flores de un solo día and Alejandra Kamiya’s Los árboles caídos también son el bosque
5. Visual Representations of Japan in Contemporary Argentine Cinema
“Samurai in the Land of the Gaucho is an engaging exploration of race and identity in Argentine national culture, and the paradoxical place of the Japanese in this construction."
—Evelyn Hu-DeHart, editor of Across the Pacific: Asian Americans and Globalization
"Well-researched and lucid, Hagimoto provides an unexpected perspective on traditional Argentine narratives of whiteness, which, after the 2022 Qatar World Cup, have generated international interest. By reading texts from the late nineteenth century to the present, by Euro-Argentines and Japanese immigrants and their descendants, Samurai in the Land of the Gaucho problematizes Argentine literature and identity and the notion of a uniform Asian immigrant experience."
—Juan E. De Castro, author of Writing Revolution in Latin America: From Martí to García Márquez to Bolaño
"Hagimoto makes visible a significant portion of formerly marginalized aesthetic and documentary practices and proposes a new understanding of transnational Nikkei subjectivity in Latin America. The volume produces a rich understanding of a wide array of literary, archival, and cinematic texts by juxtaposing Argentina's discourse of whiteness and Japan’s history of Westernization."
—Gorica Majstorovic, author of Global South Modernities: Modernist Literature and the Avant-Garde in Latin America
"This is an excellent and most needed study. Hagimoto's knowledge of Transpacific Studies and languages (English, Japanese, and Spanish) is unequaled by his peers."
—Anceli Tinajero, author of A Cultural History of Spanish Speakers in Japan